Facing the Unknown

You know the feeling.  That choking, panic that you get when you are volunteered to present or speak in front of an unknown audience.

It’s bad enough when the audience is your colleagues, your peers, or even your friends.  But now, you are facing the unknown.

If you are lucky, with the presentation request, you also received the suggested topic, or even better the content. But today – you didn’t.  So before you panic, realize that there are some several key things that should be considered while creating and completing your presentation topic.

Here are my top five:

WIFM*:  What does the audience care about?  Why is this audience spending their limited, valuable hours with us?

EXPECTATIONS:  Why is the audience attending?  This is crucial information,  especially if the audience is paying a fee.

KNOWLEDGE / SKILL:  Based on the above 2 questions, how does your knowledge or skill address what the audience wants to know?  Do you have the knowledge?  Do you need to research the topic(s) deeper?

TIMING:  How much time do you have for the presentation topic?  Are you scheduled?  Are you taking questions?  Are you part of a panel discussion?  Are you the last activity or topic before the audience departs the event session?

QUALITY:  What level of information, learning, skills does the requesting party need or expect?  Basic, introductory information?   More advanced, in-depth knowledge?  Hands-on, learn as you go opportunities?

Although there are a maze and mountain of questions that may occur during the development of the presentation that you will give, taking the time to ask – and research – these and other questions, will give valuable insight for you – the speaker!

Congratulations – this is a great opportunity for you to share the wealth of knowledge that you have.

Start with these questions, and be awesome!

*WIFM – What’s in it for me